Now, I’ll admit, I was never the biggest fan of Vampire Diaries, and I agree with LJ when she said in the aforementioned interview that Nightfall was by far her worst book. I wasn’t terribly fond of where the series had gone, either (though I haven’t yet read the last two books), or, frankly, that it had been resurrected at all. That being said, LJ Smith is one of my oldest, favorite YA authors, and I have a lot of respect for her and her work. As far as I’m concerned, these are her books, and they’ve been kidnapped.
I find the way the publisher has treated her in this situation absolutely fucking terrible. What the fucking shit? LJ’s writing made this series; her imagination built the world, characters, and relationships. And it wasn’t like the series flopped – it was popular enough in its post-Twilight re-release to spawn a goddamn hit TV show, for Christ’s sakes. And clearly a lot of fans enjoyed the new installments enough to make all three books NYT bestsellers. Yet the publisher doesn’t like where it’s going, so they take it away from its creator and give it to a fucking team of editors to plot out, all thanks to a bunk deal LJ got back when she was an unknown author? It may seem like a self-answering question, but all I can think is who the hell do these people think they are?
To add insult to injury, though, the publishers don’t seem to have any intention of informing fans that the new trilogy isn’t written by LJ herself, as evident in the official cover for The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Phantom above. There’s that clever little “created by” credit in tiny font above LJ’s very LARGE NAME, with no other outward indication that anything has changed in the creative lineup. It’s disgusting, and it should be obvious by now, but I’m pissed.
LJ has already asked fans not to boycott the new series, and that’s very professional of her, but I won’t be reading The Hunters, and I’m not sorry for it. This isn’t any way to treat an author whose created not one, but two very successful series for this company, and as both a fan and an aspiring author myself, I’m outraged by their behavior. I can’t imagine how heartbroken I’d be if my characters and stories were ever taken away and given to someone else. So, while I’m reluctantly refraining from organizing a boycotting campaign, I do feel that LJ’s readers should be informed. Which is why I’m writing this post, and asking that any LJ or Vampire Diaries fans who read it spread the word. The readers can, and should, decide for themselves whether or not to read the new series. But the decision should be informed, and informing people is clearly something the publisher is not interested in. So now it’s our job.
Spread the word, guys! I know I will be.